According to the Associated Press, the suspect initially tested negative for alcohol, but other tests would be run to determine if he was high. He drove on the sidewalk for three blocks, striking an 18-year-old woman who died of injuries.
Alyssa Elsman, the 18-year-old woman who died at the scene, was a tourist from MI, according to the NYPD. They are awaiting further blood tests results for multiple drugs, including PCP.
The New York City Fire Department said the collision took place at 45th Street and Broadway.
When Long went outside and looked in the direction the vehicle had gone, she saw at least six people lying on the ground, including a woman lying face-down with blood pouring from her head.
The driver, a 26-year-old male, was identified by authorities as Richard Rojas, 26, of the Bronx.
In previous arrests, he told authorities he believed he was being harassed and followed, one of the law enforcement officials said. She watched the vehicle slam into a steel divider and catch fire, she said.
The incident sparked instant jitters after recent deadly car-ramming attacks in London, Berlin and the French city of Nice, but officials said early evidence did not point to a terror link.
A smashed auto sits on the corner of Broadway and 45th Street in New York's Times Square after driving through a crowd of pedestrians Thursday, May 18, 2017.
A vehicle driven by a US Navy veteran with a criminal record has slammed into a crowd in New York's Times Square, killing one person and injuring many and causing the city to mobilise anti-terror units out of an "abundance of caution".
He has been arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated twice, losing his licence for 90 days in 2015, and was arrested for pointing a knife at a notary he accused of stealing his identity last week.
Her younger sister Ava was taken to a hospital for treatment, her condition is not yet known.
O'Neill identified the suspect as 26-year-old Richard Rojas, describing him as a USA citizen and former service member with multiple previous DWI arrests. He pleaded guilty to harassment, a violation, and was not sentenced to any prison time.
NY governor Andrew Cuomo also visited the scene. However, details of the case were not immediately available. "You are going to have to be strong now", de Blasio was heard telling family members.
The bouncer added that at the time, he was just doing what he thought was right.
The White House says that President Trump has been "made aware" of what has happened.